Biography of Judge Hezekiah Weaver
JUDGE HEZEKIAH WEAVER was unquestionably one of the ablest and most popular of Shannon County’s judges, and aside from this is a polished gentleman and a worthy neighbor. He is a Blue Grass Kentuckian, born in Laurel County in 1832, and in that county he received his scholastic training. When twenty-two years of age he married Miss Catherine Brock, also a native of Laurel County, Kentucky, and of the eleven children born to this union ten are now living. Mrs. Weaver died in 1890 and the Judge took for his second wife, in August, 1891, Mrs. Mary J. Willbank, and they have one child. After his first marriage Judge Weaver turned his attention to farming. He came to Missouri with his father in 1855, learned the blacksmith’s and wood-workman’s trades and continued this in connection with farming for some time. He first located in Birch Valley, three miles west of Birch Tree, on a branch of Spring Creek, and there farmed until the breaking out of the war. In August, 1861, he joined Woodside’s Home Guards, but later Freeman’s brigade, with which he remained until the close of the war. He was lieutenant in the Home Guards and while in the regular service was detailed to do blacksmithing. He was at Ironton, Pilot Knob, Little Blue, Big Blue and in the open prairie fight. He was also in the Price raid. Being on detailed duty he was not forced to appear on the battlefields, although he did so. While in Batesville, Arkansas, he was taken prisoner by bushwhackers, but was soon afterward released. The Judge surrendered at Jacksonport June 6, 1865. He was never wounded. After the war he located six miles west of Smithfield, where he remained until 1869. He then moved to Jackson County and in connection with farming was engaged in raising cotton for one year. He went from there to Howell County, Missouri, and located near Mt. View, where he made his home until 1874. From there he moved to Birch Valley in Shannon County, and was engaged in blacksmithing and farming for two years. In 1876 he went to Laurel Countv, Kentucky, remained there one year and then returned to Birch Valley, where he remained two years. He bought 320 acres of land in Hurricane Valley and he has since improved the place and cleared 150 acres of the timber on it. In 1889 he went to Puget Sound, Washington State, also went to Montana, Idaho, Utah, Minnesota, Wyoming, and in fact all the Northwest. He was absent from April till the latter part of the year, but since then he has been residing on his farm. In 1886 he was elected presiding judge and discharged the duties of that office very capably for two years and a half. Judge Weaver is an elder in the Christian Church, and is a member of the I. O. O. F. at Eminence. In politics he is Democratic, and is an active worker for his party.
Judge Weaver was fifth in order of birth of eleven children, eight of whom are now living. His parents, Peter and Ann (Chestnut) Weaver, were natives of Claiborne County, East Tennessee, and Laurel County, Kentucky, respectively. When sixteen years of age Peter Weaver left his native State with his father and settled in Laurel County, Kentucky, when it was a wilderness. There he married Miss Chestnut, and continued to reside until 1855 when he came by wagon across the country to what is now Shannon County, and settled in the woods of Birch Valley. There, with the assistance of his family, he cleared up a farm, and there his death occurred in 1884, when about eighty-seven years of age. While a resident of Kentucky he was quite a prominent politician, was always a Democrat, and was county judge there. After settling in this county he was elected presiding judge. Mrs. Weaver died in Shannon County in 1886, when about eighty-three years of age. Both were members of the Baptist Church for many years.